Have you ever heard about the Northern Lights? The Northern and Southern lights are lights in the sky that appear near the North and South poles. The lights are some of the most beautiful things in the world! Aurora Borealis ( Northern lights) in Latin means “northern dawn” and Aurora Australis ( Southern lights) means “southern dawn”. Some ancient people like the Vikings thought it was a sign from their God or Gods. For example some of the Norse tribes thought it was a bridge of fire from the gods.
How Auroras are Caused
Auroras are caused by solar particles from the Sun striking atoms in Earth's magnetic field causing them to excite . Atoms have a central nucleus and a surrounding cloud of electrons orbiting the nucleus. When charged particles from the sun hit the atom it causes the electrons to go into a higher speed orbit. This is how an atom excites. As the atom calms down it will release a Photon into the atmosphere. A Photon is a light particle presenting a quantity of light or electromagnetic radiation. The Photon is the Aurora.
Where do You Find Auroras
You can find Auroras in many different places. Around the north and south poles there is an area of auroral activity which forms an oval. That oval is called an auroral oval. The auroral ovals surround places such as : Norway, Siberia, Alaska, Antarctica, Canada, Iceland, North Greenland and Russia.
How Different Colors are Caused
There are many different colors of Auroras. The most common color is green. The different colors are caused by different gasses. About once every two years you can spot a deep blood red color in a Aurora. Sometimes there will be yellow in an aurora. Here’s a chart of what gases cause different colors.
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